Pollution risk “low” as salvage of Transocean Winner continues

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency rates the pollution risk from the grounding of the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner as “low” as salvage efforts continue off Scotland’s Isle of Lewis.

Dutch contractor SMIT Salvage is onsite assessing recovery options for the 17,000 tonne rig which was blown ashore on Monday after breaking a towline connection with tugboat Alp Forward in stormy seas.

Rig owner Transocean has confirmed 280 metric tonnes of diesel are on board. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s counter pollution branch has been monitoring the situation since Monday while Hugh Shaw, The Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, is on site.

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch has launched an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the UK Coastguard has warned off visitors to the area amid safety concerns.

“We understand that this incident is of interest to people living in the area, but we’re really asking them to stay away to ensure easy access for emergency services and salvors,” UK Coastguard Commander Mark Rodaway said.

“Also the last thing we want is for people to be injured or worse trying to get a closer look on remote cliff paths,” he added.

Transocean Winner was reportedly being towed to Malta for scrapping when it ran aground off Scotland.


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